Hill Country Sips: San Saba Ain’t Just About Pecans

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For generations, people have known San Saba as the Pecan Capital of the World. Despite that notoriety, a different crop of fruit has taken up residence in San Saba, and wine lovers are taking notice.

DSC_0088Photo: Marcy Stellfox

Thanks in large part to Mike McHenry and his family, today, San Saba’s historic downtown shines with life and vigor. Not only have they brought new business into San Saba, but they’ve also worked hard to revitalize the downtown.

McHenry’s Wedding Oak Winery opened its doors in 2012. The tasting room resides in a building dating back to 1926 and McHenry constructed winery’s production facility on an empty lot next door. Since then, McHenry refurbished a building a bit further down the block to house a new winery project, Old Man Scary Cellars.

13920476_1288638121155009_8315960003587322925_oPhoto: Facebook/Wedding Oak Winery

Wedding Oak takes its name from a 400-year old live oak tree 2.5 miles from the winery. First Indians, and then the townsfolk gathered under the tree’s wide, swooping boughs for festivals and celebrations, including weddings. McHenry figured a tree with roots as deep as that of the live oak was a good fit for the winemaking business he wanted to start with his family from grapes grown right in the Texas Hill County.

He’s done what many a winegrower in the Hill Country has done — embraced the rugged, rocky land and the unpredictable weather and planted varietals that would tolerate both. The results speak for themselves.

The Wedding Oak wines consist mostly of drier wines although they make a few sweeter wines, too. What’s good to try? For white wine fans, the 2015 Albarino made from 100% Texan grown albariño grapes from the High Plains received a gold medal at the 2017 San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Wine Competition. You want this wine at your table when serving pork or grilled veggies for its red grapefruit, red apple, and lemon zest notes.

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